How to get certified as a director
Are you interested in a career opportunity that pays well and places you at the top table? Here’s how to get certified as a director and prepare yourself for non-executive roles.
Over two million paid board positions can be found in the UK. The US has over ten million. These positions must be refreshed, so thousands of board positions are always available each year.
Fewer than 1% of board members in the UK are certified, but demand exists for certified board members (who understand how a board operates). You can become a certified director by taking the Diploma in Corporate Governance.
Additionally, there is a growing need for people with diverse backgrounds to join boards.
Boards want diverse candidates with up-to-date skills and soft skills. The demand for soft skills is growing because emotional intelligence is so highly valued.
Huge opportunity for people with diverse backgrounds and experiences
In 2022, we can expect a greater focus on board diversity worldwide. For example, in the United States, the number of minorities on Fortune 500 boards rose by just one per cent between 2018 and 2020. Yet between July 2020 and May 2021, 32% of newly-appointed board members in the S&P 500 were black, up 11%, according to ISS Corporate Solutions. This upward trend will continue.
Investment firms like BlackRock and State Street have asked their portfolio companies worldwide to report board on their diversity and improve it. One of the most notable international governance laws has been the requirement that businesses headquartered in California have at least one board member from an underrepresented community by the end of 2021.
Companies may also limit tenure to encourage greater diversity in the boardroom. The current director tenure is eight years, down from nine and a half years in 2015, according to Equilar. Tenure restrictions could result in a better revolving boardroom door.
Also, rather than waiting for members to leave, companies may add more board seats and fill them with diverse candidates.
Organisations will continue to look further afield for new board members because broadening their base of board candidates is a priority for firms in 2022. As the question goes: ‘Why not just have one person on the board if they’re all coming from the same place?’
Board jobs in the UK
UK companies are under pressure to ensure at least 40% of their board members are women.
The UK’s financial watchdog wants to increase boardroom diversity in response to investor demands.
Apart from recommending that women hold 40% of board seats, the Financial Conduct Authority also recommended that one senior board position be held by a woman – chair, chief executive, chief financial officer, or senior independent director.
There has been a sea change in how boards now recruit fresh candidates. Do you have what it takes?